Everything You Should Know to Manage ‘Disk Usage Warning’ Alerts in cPanel/WHM Servers.

  • November 21st, 2016
  • By Amal S
  • Blog
  • The most common question asked by server owners when they confront with the ‘the Disk usage warning’ alerts is “whether it is really serious?” Whether the issue is serious or not, most of the server administrators face it regularly. The disk usage warning email is displayed when the user is utilises the maximum space allocated, through the web hosting account. The issue should be managed as soon as possible, to pass up the service disruption. When the server space becomes full, the user will not be able to send or receive emails. In short ‘disk usage warning’ need to be rectified immediately. This blog provides you insights to solve ‘Disk usage warning’ alerts in cPanel/WHM servers.

    What Is Disk Usage Warning Message?

    The ‘Disk usage warning message’ indicates that the disk space in/partition of the cPanel server is 84.73% full. As the number of hosted servers increase, the space in the server reduces which lead to the display of the message. So it is recommended to leave at least 10% of the total server space as free to avoid such issues. The disk space warning must be considered with higher importance and need to be managed immediately before it leads to a server crash.

    How to Respond To Disk Space Warning Message and Formulate A Solution?

    The disk space issue should be treated with higher priority, because if not managed well, it will affect even all the websites hosted on the server. This issue can be rectified in 3 stepwise actions.

    Validation of the Warning Message.

    For example, if you use the command ‘df -h’ for checking the disk status of the server.

    root@host ~ $ df -h
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda6 50G 42.37G 7.63G 84.73 /

    In the above demonstration, it is clear that the partition ‘/ ‘is 84.73 full. So you have to consider the email seriously.

    Disk Space Examination

    In order to bring the disk space below 80%, you have to clear some space in the server. A detailed check of files and folders help you to track the items which accounts for maximum space. Use the following command for this.
    du -sch /*

    The server administrator will receive the following output

    1. root@host [~] # du –sch/*
    2. 372K ~
    3. 107M etc
    4. 113 G home
    5. 253M lib
    6. 20K LICENSE
    7. 2.6M locale
    8. 16K lost+found
    9. 64K mbox_backup
    10. 8.0K media
    11 8.0K mnt
    12. 418M opt
    13. 0 proc
    14. 12M pub
    15. 4.0K pub-htaccess.txt
    16. 648K templates
    17. 14K tmp
    18. 64K tools
    19. 5.4G /var

    Further examination needs to be done on the files which are taking more space.

    Making Some Space Free

    After the detecting the file which consumes the more space, the next step is to free some space. Once you find that a file is not relevant delete it immediately. For example, the irrelevant files include old logs, core dump files etc. After cleaning up all the unwanted files, the warning mail will stop exhibiting and at the end of the process the following output will be displayed:

    root@host ~ $ df -h
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda6 50G 39.5G 10.5G 79% /

    The deletion of the unwanted files needs to be completed with utmost care or else it can even lead to loss of customers or crash of the entire server. So make sure you make the right move.

    Disk Usage Warning


    Server administrators are frequently encountered with ‘Disk usage warning’. This issue is easy to rectify, but the problem is, most of the time server administrators ignore such emails. The solution to the issue varies according to the factors such as resource usage, budget, web traffic and features offered by each web host. The issue does not have one-time solution and it requires proper preventive actions and 24/7 disk space monitoring. It requires a dedicated team to continuously clear up the unwanted files. We are trying to address the requirement of an immediate response to ‘Disk usage warning’. Our goal is to provide awareness on this rather than a technical solution.

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